What drives a person to traverse the most inhospitable terrain on the planet with nothing but twelve dogs and a sled? The Iditarod has come to a close for another year, and few other races have excited the imagination like this one. A dog sled race is like crack to my imagination, which gets excited over moldy cheese.
Jerry surveyed his rent-a dog-team. It wasn’t exactly what he was expecting. As he looked around at the other teams gathering near the starting gate, he felt a pang of envy. The dogs, as one were straining in the traces, anxious to be on the trail.
His dogs were either lying quietly, or squeezing each other out for the best spot on the sled. Pugs, why did it have to be pugs?
While you and I may think that it’s less than desirable to drive headlong into a freezing wind behind twelve dogs with full bladders, many will sacrifice everything for the chance to do just that. These people are generally referred to as idiots mushers.
Five minutes in the cold, and the blood cells in my fingers start torching cars, looting, and throwing bottle rockets at the police. I’d be the only musher being treated for frostbite at the starting line. Contestants face over one thousand miles of wind chills of -100 degrees (Fahrenheit), snot freezing in their noses, and hemorrhoids the size of oysters. It takes 9 – 15 days to complete the course. This year race organizers boasted that nobody died. 🙂
If you’re interested in an insider perspective, I’d highly recommend the book Winterdance, by Gary Paulsen. This tale of his adventures is told with wit and passion. My imagination is about the closest I’ll ever get to the Iditarod. I’ll just be over here snuggled up next to the fire with my pugs.